The prompt from Carrot Ranch this week was tapping. The first thing I thought of was the playing of TAPS. Most people associate the melancholy bugle notes with funerals but I have been stationed on bases where they were played at 10:00p each night to signify the end of the day or the start of quiet hours. I liked hearing it.
Once again practicing my show don’t tell skills. The military is famous (or maybe infamous!) for it’s work hard, play hard mentality. Something I experienced a lot during deployments. These days I find myself thinking a day is really good if I have a nice mix of work, play and relaxation. Hopefully I reflected that a bit in this story.
I lay in bed, drowsy, waiting for my cue to sleep. It had been a good day, one that I thought of as well balanced. I worked hard all day diagnosing and fixing a rudder issue on my F-16 and then beat the boss’s team in a volleyball match. The chow hall had my favorite version of mystery meat for dinner. I spent the evening cleaning my boots and watching the latest episode of “Breaking Bad”.
Now the moon shown down and cool air rippled through the window.
And then I heard it, taps, the signal for lights out.
Today is Armed Forces Day, the lesser known cousin of Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day. Memorial Day is to recognize those who gave their life while serving in the military and Veteran’s Day is a salute to all those who have served in the military. Armed Forces Day is to recognize the branches of service and those currently serving in them.
In an excerpt from the Presidential Proclamation of Feb. 27, 1950, Truman stated:
“Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, toward the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.” (Copied from Military.com)
An excerpt taken from an article written in the New York Post on May 17, 1952, sums up Armed Forces Day’s utmost importance, “It is our most earnest hope that those who are in positions of peril, that those who have made exceptional sacrifices, yes, and those who are afflicted with plain drudgery and boredom, may somehow know that we hold them in exceptional esteem. Perhaps if we are a little more conscious of our debt of honored affection they may be a little more aware of how much we think of them.”
While you appreciate your freedom today take a moment to put your flag out or send a care package to someone serving overseas or maybe just send a prayer of safe keeping for all those on duty today. Thank you.